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Labeling Our Schools

Uploaded by Rikordway on Dec 03, 2002

The labeling of schools has become a controversial practice in today’s schools. One of the items that have made labeling schools controversial is the broadness of the labels themselves. Though there are only four set labels to rate schools, the same label can be used to measure schools that have differing results. For example, a school could have a rating of just below excelling for three years straight or a school could have a rating at the states average for three years straight and both would be labeled maintaining (Kossan). Additionally, the same situation can happen with the improving label. One excelling school can have ninety percent of its students pass the AIMS test while 1 percent earned the worst grade. Two years later, 96 percent pass the AIMS test and none earned the worst grade. This small increase would then earn the school an improving label (Kossan). In comparison, a school can have 21 percent of its students pass the AIMS test while 62 percent earn the worst grade. Again two years later, 43 percent passed the AIMS test and only 14 percent earned the worst grade (Kossan). Though the second school mentioned is below par and quite below that of the first school, they both receive the same label of improving. It is quite evident how a dedicated and deserving teacher can be upset with this system of accountability.

According to the Arizona School Boards Association, the definitions of the titles used to label schools are as follows (internet):

  • Under performing: needs to meet state performance and state progress goals.
  • Maintaining Performance: meets state performance goals, and needs to meet state progress goals.
  • Improving: exceeds state performance and state progress goals.
  • Excelling:
    • K-8: ninety percent of pupils achieve one year of academic progress in all subject areas of the Arizona measure of academic progress, and ninety percent passed all subject areas of the AIMS test.
    • 9-12: ninety percent of pupils passed all subject areas of the AIMS test, the dropout rate is no more than 6 percent and the schools graduation rate is at least ninety percent.

Since Oct. 15, 2002, when the state released its first accountability labels for the schools, 1 in 5 Arizona schools ranked poorly (Kossan). Although it is a good idea to measure schools in some fashion, many believe that the current system gives students, parents, and teachers a like a sense of hopelessness.

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Uploaded by:   Rikordway

Date:   12/03/2002

Category:   Politics

Length:   3 pages (591 words)

Views:   1969

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